While this blog is conceptualized as a resource for professionals, I understand that a number of non-professional individuals are going to happen across this site, either by chance, or because they want to find a review of an app that they found on the iTunes or Play store. That’s great, and I’m happy to see all of you!
For those of you who are not mental health professionals: before you get too far into the other material on this site, I want to make something clear. One of the things that I teach my graduate students is that they should never say anything to a client without knowing why they are saying it. Put briefly, this means that there is a combination of science and art behind successful therapy, and there is no science to using any self-help tool on its own.
Don’t get me wrong – I believe that there are many excellent self-help tools, and sometimes all you need is a little self-organized kick to right the ship. However, some people are looking for tools like this because they are desperate or in another way genuinely need help. I also believe that these tools work exponentially better when there is a professional to help frame the use of these tools. As I try to remind my readers as often as possible, nothing that I review here is a replacement for help from a qualified, licensed professional.
For mental health professionals: I decided to start this blog one day when I was demonstrating a cool CBT-based Android app to a colleague. After this, I searched for a blog like this and found that while there are many standalone stories on blogs and other websites about “therapy apps,” there is no single repository to seek opinions about this or that tool on any app store. I have long used a blog like this to find apps for my young son to play with, and thought it would be useful to have a similar tool for mental health practitioners.
As I noted above to the non-professionals, it’s important to remember that there is little or no science behind the use of these tools in therapy. I don’t see anything that I will ever review as being a standalone treatment tool, or even a replacement for a treatment manual if you tend to use that sort of thing. I see these apps as modern homework rather than anything else (although I view homework as a central piece of treatment).